The Black Power Model : A Critique Of The Pluralism Model

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The Black Power model is a critique of the pluralism model, one that arose out of the discrepancy between effective tactics during the Civil Rights Movement. Instead of forming coalitions with Whites who are the internal colonial power, Black Power calls for independent Black political forces to free the colonized Black American population. Under the Black Power model, understanding racial politics first requires an understanding of racism, which is, as defined by Black Power model theorists, the practice of using decision-making and public policies as instruments to subordinate a racial group and to maintain control over that group (Carmichael and Hamilton 1992, 3). Two are two types of racism: individual racism and institutional racism. Under the Black Power model, both forms of racism have different affects on the Black community. Individual racism, such as church bombs and a lynching, are easy to identify. Consequently, society is more likely to condemn individual racism. Institutional racism is far more complicated. This form of racism is subtle, less identifiable because it does not include an individual committing a specific act, consequently this form is less likely to be condemned by members of society (Carmichael and Hamilton 1992, 4). Institutional racism often affects more people and usually involves some aspect of neglect or deprivation. Denying Black veterans loans for housing after WWI is an example. The Black Power model uses the concept internal colonialism as an analysis to depict the current system looks like. There are three main arenas of internal colonialism: the political arena, the economic arena, and the social arena. Politically, the Black colonialized population has no true self-determination. Politica... ... middle of paper ... ...y acceptance of each party’s independent power base, and 4) coalition concerns specific and identifiable goals (Carmichael and Hamilton 1992, 80). These preconditions establish boundaries that correlate with the Black Power model. Furthermore, Black Power is only interested in one type of coalition. Eventually, under the Black Power model, there would be a coalition between poor Blacks and poor whites (Carmichael and Hamilton 1992, 82). This expectation is justified given that under the Black Power model; there can be no cross-class coalitions between groups that are economically and politically unequal. Clearly, alliances with other ethnic groups, specifically with White Americans, are not the primary focus on Black Power, and before any alliances can be formed, Black people have to organizes and set out clear interests and goals (Carmichael and Hamilton 1992, 80).

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